4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

No rain, but…flash flood at Sunset Cliffs?

Mystery water flow could be creating health hazard

Inexplicable waterfall during a record drought — somebody please explain?
Inexplicable waterfall during a record drought — somebody please explain?

Mid-afternoon on March 31, water flowed over the edge of Sunset Cliffs onto an area beach for at least two hours. There has been no rain in the area since March 1, according to the National Weather Service.

Beachgoers near runoff site

Periodically, this reporter and others have witnessed runoff at this area for up to two days. Now we have video.

Video:

Fresh water + salt = increased potential for Vibrio

Video:

Channel in sand hints at duration of flow

The last time water ran off this bluff was the weekend before Christmas during a rainstorm. At least four surfers got sick. Two went to the hospital and one, Barry Ault, died. The Centers for Disease Control got involved and monitored Ault and the other surfer that was hospitalized. They were diagnosed as having contracted an infection from the Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria.

The bacteria is present in ocean water and thrives in brackish water or when fresh water runs off into the sea. Warm to moderate ocean temperatures also help the bacteria to bloom.

Humans usually come in contact with Vibrio bacteria from eating raw oysters. Diagnosing infection by the bacteria requires specific testing, so many cases are reported as gastrointestinal illness. People with weakened immune systems are more at risk of experiencing the most severe symptoms and death. The CDC has made cases of Vibrio bacteria infection a nationally reportable disease.

Meanwhile, according to maps, tracing the canyon above the runoff site leads to Building 60, the US Space & Naval Warfare Systems site on the west side of Catalina Boulevard.

US Space & Naval Warfare Systems site

Nearby are two water tanks and a pipeline operated by the City of San Diego Wastewater Treatment Plant; however, it's unlikely that any unintentional discharge would have flowed into the canyon that led to the bluff.

Around mid-day on April 1, the video was sent to Brian O'Rourke, media relations officer at Navy Region-Southwest. He said he would look into the situation but as of 4 p.m. on April 2, he had yet to respond.

Water-resources engineer Brandi Outwin-Beals at the Regional Water Quality Control Board reviewed the video and characterized the flow as "significant."

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Bob McPhail wrote about illnesses, finally dies of them

With Reader from 1987 to 2018
Inexplicable waterfall during a record drought — somebody please explain?
Inexplicable waterfall during a record drought — somebody please explain?

Mid-afternoon on March 31, water flowed over the edge of Sunset Cliffs onto an area beach for at least two hours. There has been no rain in the area since March 1, according to the National Weather Service.

Beachgoers near runoff site

Periodically, this reporter and others have witnessed runoff at this area for up to two days. Now we have video.

Video:

Fresh water + salt = increased potential for Vibrio

Video:

Channel in sand hints at duration of flow

The last time water ran off this bluff was the weekend before Christmas during a rainstorm. At least four surfers got sick. Two went to the hospital and one, Barry Ault, died. The Centers for Disease Control got involved and monitored Ault and the other surfer that was hospitalized. They were diagnosed as having contracted an infection from the Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria.

The bacteria is present in ocean water and thrives in brackish water or when fresh water runs off into the sea. Warm to moderate ocean temperatures also help the bacteria to bloom.

Humans usually come in contact with Vibrio bacteria from eating raw oysters. Diagnosing infection by the bacteria requires specific testing, so many cases are reported as gastrointestinal illness. People with weakened immune systems are more at risk of experiencing the most severe symptoms and death. The CDC has made cases of Vibrio bacteria infection a nationally reportable disease.

Meanwhile, according to maps, tracing the canyon above the runoff site leads to Building 60, the US Space & Naval Warfare Systems site on the west side of Catalina Boulevard.

US Space & Naval Warfare Systems site

Nearby are two water tanks and a pipeline operated by the City of San Diego Wastewater Treatment Plant; however, it's unlikely that any unintentional discharge would have flowed into the canyon that led to the bluff.

Around mid-day on April 1, the video was sent to Brian O'Rourke, media relations officer at Navy Region-Southwest. He said he would look into the situation but as of 4 p.m. on April 2, he had yet to respond.

Water-resources engineer Brandi Outwin-Beals at the Regional Water Quality Control Board reviewed the video and characterized the flow as "significant."

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Thank God (and the Irenic) for new all-ages venue

Building Bridges in Clairemont Mesa
Next Article

Bob McPhail wrote about illnesses, finally dies of them

With Reader from 1987 to 2018
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close